Voluntary and advice services

Background: Voluntary organisations in Coventry provide information, advice, support and services for older women in Coventry that are vital for tackling discrimination and promoting women’s human rights.

The cuts:
• A number of funding streams from central Government for voluntary organisations have ended.
• Reductions to health spending have led to the Primary Care Trust cutting grants to a number of voluntary organisations.
• There has been a drop in charitable giving from individuals.
• Many charitable and non-charitable organisations are receiving an increasing level of grant applications which means that the success rate for applications is falling.
• Coventry City Council is reviewing its funding of the voluntary sector and
is forecasting a saving of £100,000 in 2012/13 and £200,000 in 2013/14. The Council reversed an earlier decision to top slice 3% off all voluntary sector grants but some grants have been reduced or stopped.
• Voluntary organisations that have local or national contracts to deliver public services are being affected by cuts to spending on public services.
• There have been significant cuts to Legal Aid which will affect organisations providing specialist legal advice services and organisations providing more general advice services that refer on to legal specialists.

The impact: As voluntary organisations are forced to cut services or in some cases close altogether there is a risk of:
• Increased loneliness and isolation particularly for older women living alone.
• Reduced levels of advice and support to enable women to claim the benefits and services to which they are entitled and to help protect them against discrimination.
• Difficulty in monitoring the on-going impacts of other public spending cuts on older women.

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